New spraydeck design for 2012

Just officially announced the changes in the spraydeck configuration. Finally, there will be a cockpit/hatch style opening to be closed with a skirt like traditional kayaks have. The boat cover will permanently stay and the skirt goes with the paddler. The cockpit contains a frame of aluminum poles. No change in weight compared to the older deck. A big change though! The development we all have been waiting for.
Large opening for convinience

Actually, in my opinion this is a bigger change then last years introduction of the new shape with the pointy stern. Why? A dry lab is of greater value than a larger butt ;) Honestly, I was little bothered about last years introduction as this seemed not my limiation in white water. However, a dry deck was! 

Secure rim for proper fit
Though a great improvment the long tail is (for speed and balance), I have seen few people who came to there limits wit the pre-2011 model. With the new spraydeck it might be vice versa. Long chains of heavy water rapids now do no longer fill the boat up. No need to stop and dump the boat resp. an opening up for long technical streches. 

This will be the breakthrough in the kayaking community!

That said, it is only my personal opinion. Altough the opening is quite large and almost feels like an open boat, there might be people who prefer the classic zip off deck. Also, some might be more comfortable with a velcro closure and no need to pull a line while capzising. This version of the deck will also be continued to be available of course.
High reaching chimney for total dryness. The closing can be covered with your PFD.
Anyways, I think we face a serious problem, unfortunately.The worlds finest packrafts?  Not anymore, I have to say!

Packrafts become Packyaks ;)

In retrospect this is a logical development and especially kayak folks will say, sure why ever bothered with other types of spray decks? The hatch style closing has long been proved the most effective. I can only say, if development would have went this way - reduction and lightening of boats starting from existing shapes and types of watercrafts - we would have never reached a sub 3 kg boat! There was a need to start from scratch and have a backward development. This invention needed its 10 years probably.
All been said is subject to testing on the water of course. But I have little doubt for the performance.

However, there is one thing I can already say being important to customers. The new spray deck covers the back end unflexible (in contrast to the previous deck) and reaches quite far forwards. That means, one is forced to sit more forward, eg have the backrest fully inflated.  

I noticed the tendency of people to lean backward. I could clearly see how the flexible 2011deck compensated sizings. Not a big deal, but this needs to be taken into account. If on edge with one size, this could mean the need to move up one.

If anyone has question about my impression on the new design feel free to ask. Also, I would be pleased to have a viewing for those who are closeby in Germany.
Please note that these decks effectively become available not befor the beginning of January. They will be sold 250$,  which is an Equivalent of ~250 € in the EU currently (taking into account the import duties).

Discovering a new species? Taking a closer inspection!

The rim/pole/zipper construction

A need to pull for exit (left) and reaching far forward (right).